i am sure there’s plenty of projects like this one. the idea is to get a “cheap” and “small” full featured linux box. a good keyword to start with: itx motherboard cpu combo. this one have hdmi 1080p, wifi, dual-core 1.6 ghz. i paid 147$ used. got also 1 gig of used ram for 20$. total of 167$ CAD. weight is 0.8 kg for the box and 0.3 kg for the supply. Just 18W at idle, and 23W full load (someone measured it with a Kill-a-watt device). the power supply is 90W. for the storage, i went with a laptop hard-drive (it’s smaller). i paid 100$ for a 500 gig, 7200 rpm, sata.
all this information will be outdated, now.
running a realtime kernel with enlightenment and blender: